The odds of the Olympic-sized asteroid striking Earth on February 14, 2046, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Sentry system, are 1 in 560. According to the European Space Agency’s data estimates, the likelihood is 1 in 625, which is a more favourable possibility (for us).
The lone object on NASA’s risk list, the asteroid 2023 DW, ranks 1 out of 10 on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale, indicating there is no risk of a collision with Earth. All other objects on the list rank as 0. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA, a collision is incredibly unlikely and would not warrant public worry.
Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said: “This object is not very worrying.
The revelation did come with the warning that as additional information is gathered and research is conducted over the coming weeks, the likelihood of DW impacting our planet in 2023 could significantly change. Newly discovered asteroids may appear more dangerous at first glance.
The good news is that even if the object does strike the earth, it won’t pose a threat to humanity’s survival because the asteroid that struck our planet 66 million years ago and killed off the majority of species was only 7.5 miles wide.
If the asteroid collided with a city or other densely populated area, it might still cause severe damage. While being less than half the size of 2023 DW, the Chelyabinsk meteor that erupted above Russia in 2013 resulted in over 7,200 building damages and nearly 1,500 injuries. Fortunately, NASA estimates that in 2023, DW will only travel 1.1 million kilometres from Earth (1.8m km).
NASA tried to redirect an asteroid by sending and smashing a spacecraft into it last year with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. The minor asteroid Dimorphos’ orbit was changed more than was anticipated by the expedition, which was a major success.